Posted by Sage
It’s not that Mindy doesn’t trust Peter’s lab results. It’s just that she also needs thirty store-bought pregnancy tests and one Popsicle stick to actually wrap her mind around the notion that she’s with child. In the words of some guy she used to be in a show with, who played some other guy in a movie, “this is one doodle that can’t be un-did, home skillet.” Mindy is home skillet, in this scenario. Try to keep up.
“Do you even bother telling your boyfriend if there’s only a 95 percent chance you’re pregnant?” Mindy asks her practical fellowship pal Niepa. Mindy’s knee-jerk reaction to difficult situations is to avoid them and thereby pretend they’re not happening. I have a similar relationship with my work inbox on weekends. But this is one development that she can’t get out of her head – and we all know Mindy can’t be alone with her thoughts. She nearly gives the game away on the phone (“Hey Daddy…I mean Danny!” She and Jarvis should get together for a hand of poker sometime.) but knows that this is a conversation that has to happen in person. Adult coping skills! This is new.
Sweet, soccer-playing, juice-box-drinking Dani’s hormones have come in, leaving her a surly mall teen who her dad just can’t handle. (“I slapped my teacher in her dumb face.”) Alan brought her to New York in the hopes that Danny could get through to her. Far from being put out, Danny perks up at the idea of being needed. As a kid, his dad had no use for him. Now, he can be the hero. His weekend away with Mindy, he believes, is meant to mend whatever damage the San Francisco misunderstanding did to their relationship. But they’re great, he tells her sincerely. Now he’s gotta deal with some family business.
Danny has no idea what he’s doing to Mindy by insisting on separating her and “family” into two different piles. Family with a capital F is what it’s all about for Dr. C. And to not give her that distinction makes Mindy feel like an afterthought. If she doesn’t even rate, then this unborn kid doesn’t have a chance.
I love how Mindy ingratiates herself when she needs to. She has no hesitation in asserting her girlfriend rights with Annette, for example. Annette is a tough nut to crack and no wilting flower could handle her as a mother-in-law. But Mindy’s never wanted to have to work that hard with Danny. If she does, then what’s the point?
In her confusion over Dani and Alan’s surprise visit, Mindy lets it slip to Annette. Annette, in turn, transfers her energies from expressing her issues with the single-bed situation at Mindy and Danny’s bed and breakfast to inviting all the Castellanos over for dinner. Danny freaks. Ma’s got something planned and it’s going to be a blood bath. (He doesn’t even know about the eels yet!) Not so, Mindy asserts. “She seemed really sincere, like when she tells me she hates my makeup.” Mindy assumes she’ll be one of the witnesses to Annette’s attack, but Danny shuts her out again. Family only.
Danny is expecting to serve as a human shield. Maybe to disappear a body. But he’s not expecting Annette to answer the door in a WASP-y wig, doing her best June Cleaver. How has her life been since Alan left? Perfect, asshole. So perfect that her “hair turned blond, like a princess.” Dot and Annette have the ideal good cop/bad cop thing going on. Annette downplays the way that she struggled after Alan left; Dot berates him over “Grace.” (“Okay, my turn: Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.”) Little does Annette know that Alan is planning to wash his hands of responsibility again. But when she finds out that he’s talked Danny into taking Little Dani in “for a little while,” the facade (and the wig) slip.
Danny isn’t even troubled by the request. He’s used to taking responsibility for people, and Alan has managed to position pawning off his daughter as an honorable thing because that’s what deadbeats do. “Do you have Stockholm Syndrome?” Annette asks Danny while she removes her jewelry. (“Now, most people think black women invented that. No. MA.”) Danny has such a complex relationship with his dad that he cannot be objective. If he could, he’d see what everyone else at that table does. Instead of figuring out what he could do for the son he just reconciled with, Alan sees Danny as another resource for him. It’s not malevolent. It’s just shitty.
I also suspect that a little part of Danny is pleased that Alan isn’t the perfect dad to Dani either. Something for his next session with the Deslauriers, perhaps.
So Annette’s got Alan’s number, and Mindy has Dani’s. The teenager’s “troubles” have been vastly exaggerated. (“I was cyberbullied for being tall.”) If anyone knows has to act out to get what she wants, it’s the adult lady doctor sitting next to her. Dani has completely hoodwinked the men around her (both equally ill-equipped to handle girl-feelings, even though one takes babies out of people for a living.), and almost succeeds in negotiating a purple hair-streak into a prolonged vacation in New York City. Oh, under different circumstances, what Mindy could have taught her…
Danny keeps cautioning Mindy about the Castellanos. They’re too intense; she can’t handle it. But Mindy Lahiri invented intense. The Castelame-os have never thrown anything at her that she hasn’t been able to handle, including the pre-seafood feast massacre. (“Don’t step to me, I just murdered a bunch of eels tonight.”) She’ll be a mom like Annette, maybe, who threatens the life of anyone who takes advantage of her kid but doesn’t hesitate to meddle in that kid’s life when he’s being a dope. I love that it’s Annette who embraces Mindy first, that it’s the woman who raised Danny who tells her what a wonderful thing this is. “This is the best part,” she beams. And Mindy smiles weakly, because it kind of feels like the worst.
Danny and Mindy have been together for a while, so it’s been a minute since our last dramatic chase around New York City. As soon as Annette tells Danny that Mindy is pregnant, he walks out on his first family – at least for now. It’s a family he loves, but it’s one that’s suffocating. Mindy worries for the entire episode that Danny is too wrapped up in the Castellanos to want to build anything with her. But good on Danny for not hesitating a millisecond to choose who gets his attention. He runs around the city to the strains of Beyonce’s “XO” (MY HEART), eventually tracking Mindy’s apple pie wrappers to her favorite break room vending machine. Would that every dad took his cues from Jason Seaver (not Alan Thicke. We don’t need another one of these.), because Danny knows just what to do. He wraps his arms around Mindy before pulling back, placing a hand on her stomach and telling her exactly what she’s been longing to hear: “We’re a family.”
- “When Ritchie was 15, I wouldn’t let him go live with Bret Easton Ellis. so he threatened to throw himself off the Empire State Building.”
- Danny did look super hot on his way to the “shame sermon.” If Father really did seat him with the masturbators, he might have had a problem.
- “If you hurt this boy again, I will hurt you.”
- Way to go, Dr. Ladro!
- “She hit me with an encyclopedia, and now I’m perfect.”
I am compromised, y’all. Are you? Tell me in the comments.